Archie Comics

Archie Comics

Infobox Company
name = Archie Comics

type =
genre =
foundation = 1939
founder = Maurice Coyne
Louis Silberkleit
John L. Goldwater
location_city =
location_country =
location =
locations =
area_served =
key_people =
industry = Publishing
products = Comics
services =
market c

revenue =
operating_income =
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assets =
equity =
owner = Lifestyle Media
num_employees =
parent = Gaiam
divisions =
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homepage =
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Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher, known for its many series featuring the fictional teenage Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle and Forsythe "Jughead" Jones characters by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater, written by Vic Bloom and drawn and created by Bob Montana. The characters were based in part on people the three knew, including Montana's friends in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and people met by Goldwater "in the midwest".cite news | author=Ralph Blumenthal | title=John L. Goldwater, Creator of Archie and Pals, Dies at 83 | date=2 March 1999 | work=New York Times | url= |accessdate = 2008-07-08 ]

Archie's first appearance in "Pep Comics" #22 on December 22 1941 was drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom. With the creation of Archie, publisher John L. Goldwater hoped to appeal to fans of the Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. [ "Publisher Profile: Archie Comics" By Rik Offenberger, from "Borderline" #19 (March 1, 2003)] . Accessed July 8, 2008]

"Archie Comics" is also the title of the company's longest running publication, the first issue appearing with a cover date of Winter 1942. Starting with issue #114 the title was shortened to simply "Archie".


Archie Comics started out in 1939 as MLJ Comics, named after the first initials of its three founders: Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit, and John L. Goldwater.

Early MLJ titles featured generic superheroes remembered in the lore of comic collectors' trivia. "The Shield" was the first flag-themed superhero, a year before "Captain America". "The Comet" was the first superhero killed in the line of duty.

The "Hangman" (the "Comet's" younger brother) might be the most brutal superhero of the 1940s. "Roy the Superboy" preceded "Superboy" by half a decade, and "Steel Sterling" was dubbed "the Man of Steel" before "Superman". None remained popular. In 1941, a teenage humor strip called "Archie" began as a new back-up feature in "Pep", replacing "Madam Satan". Striking a popular nerve with emerging youth culture, Archie and his gang were such a hit that MLJ changed its name to Archie Comics in 1946.

In the 1950s and 1960s, cartoonist Dan DeCarlo ceased work on Atlas Comics' "Millie the Model" and brought his influential style to the Archie Comics universe. DeCarlo is primarily responsible for the modern look of the Archie characters, and the creation of popular "Archie" spin-off comics "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and "Josie and the Pussycats".

The enduring Archie legacy has spanned dozens of "Archie" titles, including spin-offs, digest collections, and magazines focused on particular characters. Some of the older series feature Archie and his friends cast as superhero versions of themselves or playing spies in a parody of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.". Some series, such as "Life With Archie" and "Archie at Riverdale High", feature straight adventure and/or mystery stories.

In May 2007, Archie debuted what they call a more "dynamic", realistic art style since its title characters' debut in Pep Comics #22 (December, 1941), also features longer serialized stories.

The "Archie" characters have been continually successful in other mediums since the comic's inception. The "Archie Andrews" radio program debuted May 31, 1943, and ran on various networks until September 5, 1953. The "Archie" newspaper comic strip was launched in 1946, and was drawn by Bob Montana until his death in 1975. In 1968, "Archie" was adapted into a Saturday morning cartoon series by Filmation, "The Archie Show". In 1969, the teen bubblegum pop band, The Archies, earned a gold record with their #1 hit "Sugar, Sugar". In 1974, a network television pilot was made in an attempt to bring a live-action Archie show but was unsuccessful.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Archie characters were authorized for use in a series of Christian comic books written and drawn by Al Hartley for Spire Christian Comics.

Several attempts have been made to revive MLJ's original superhero line, without success. Recently at Comiccon 2008 it was announced that the characters have been licensed to DC.


The February 1962 issue of Harvey Kurtzman's "Help!" magazine featured a parody of the Archie characters in its "Goodman Beaver" story, "Goodman Goes Playboy", written by Kurtzman and illustrated by frequent collaborator, Will Elder (the magazine itself hit newsstands on December 1960). Attorneys for Archie Comics filed suit shortly thereafter, for copyright infringement. An agreement was reached in March 1964, with $1000 in damages paid, and an apology was issued.

Later attempts to reprint the Goodman Beaver story, with names and artwork altered by Kurtzman and Elder to minimize similarities to Archie characters and trademarks, were again met with threatened legal action by Archie Comics.

However, according to a May 2008 posting on The Comics Journal website: "It resulted in waves of lawyers raining upon the strip’s creators, ultimately leading to Kurtzman and Elder handing the copyright to the story over to Archie and signing an agreement promising never to reproduce it again. Some 40 years or so later, Gary Groth or someone close to him discovered that Archie had forgotten to renew the copyright to the strip, and that it had fallen into the public domain." As a result, "Goodman Goes Playboy" can now be reprinted by anyone, anywhere, at anytime, since it is no longer copyrighted by anyone.

Ironically, despite the above legal wrangling, Archie Comics never took any action against Kurtzman, Elder nor publisher William Gaines for the 1954 Mad Magazine story "Starchie", which has been reprinted numerous times.

Archie Comics sued music duo The Veronicas for trademark infringement in 2005 over the band's name, which was taken from the comic book character. Archie Comics and Sire Records (The Veronicas' record company) finally resolved their problems through a co-promotion deal. [ [ Archie Comics sues The Veronicas] , Comics Bulletin, August 16, 2005]

Fanfiction.Net received a cease and desist order from Archie Comics to remove any Archie comic based fan fiction from its site, as they are derived from their copyrighted and trademarked properties and were stated to damage Archie's public image. It included public statements by Archie Comics, who have stated that they do not allow (even family-oriented) fan fiction based on Archie comics works. Fact|date=February 2007 (It should be noted, however, that story contests are frequently run through the official Archie website, allowing fans to create their own stories in accordance with site's rules).

On April 4, 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta was scheduled to debut a new play, "Archie's Weird Fantasy", which depicted Riverdale's most famous resident coming out of the closet and moving to New York. The day before the play was scheduled to open, Archie Comics issued a cease and desist order, threatening litigation if the play proceeded as written. Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels said, "The play was to depict Archie and his pals from Riverdale growing up, coming out and facing censorship. Archie Comics thought if Archie was portrayed as being a total sucker, that would dilute and tarnish his image." [ [] ]

Jughead's Revenge, an American punk rock band was forced to split up after a lawsuit from Archie Comics in April 2001.

The Archie universe

"Archie" is set in the small town of Riverdale. The state, or even the general location of the town, is unclear. It is known, however, that John L. Goldwater attended Horace Mann School, which is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in New York City. In the early years of Archie, Riverdale was located in Massachusetts, with Mr. Lodge being a senator for that state, but this is no longer considered canon.

For the comics' 60th anniversary in 2002, several geographical and historical hints to the location of Riverdale were printed in every digest issue. At the end of the year, it was revealed that the hints point to Riverdale being located in the "Missouri area," but that officially Riverdale has no location. It is essentially located wherever the reader wants it to be. Indeed, the geography of Riverdale is far too inconsistent for it to be any one specific location (see below). Virginia was, and still is, known to be one of the many places that Riverdale is located for the Archie characters.


The Archie gang (main characters)

* Archibald "Archie" Andrews, [ Who's Who?] , at Archie Comics] main character, a typical red-headed teenage boy with a great interest in dating. He tends to be clumsy and accident prone.
* Elizabeth "Betty" Cooper, the blonde girl next door, who is a good student, athlete, cook, and auto mechanic.
* Veronica "Ronnie/Ron" Lodge, the rich, sometimes nice and sometimes snobbish girl. Betty's best friend and rival for Archie's affections.
* Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III, - Archie's best friend. Jughead is sarcastic, obsessed with eating, lazy, and apathetic towards girls; however he is also portrayed to be very clever and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects, being second only to Dilton Doily.
* Reginald "Reggie" Mantle, the vain and conceited practical joker who thinks he can date anyone he wants.

Parents (of the main characters)

Of all the parents, it is Veronica's father and Archie's parents who appear most frequently.
* Mr. Hiram Lodge, Veronica's rich father; who often dreads meeting Archie due to Archie's clumsiness and knack for causing him trouble
* Mr. Frederick "Fred" Andrews, [ Who's Who in Riverdale?] , at Archie Comics] Archie's father who is pear-shaped, old-fashioned, and balding.
* Mrs. Mary Andrews, Archie's typical all-American suburban mother.

The other parents appear less frequently:
* Mrs. Hermione Lodge, Veronica's mother. Appears far less frequently than her husband, and rarely plays a significant role. (also been called Julie circa 1980s).
* Mr. Hal Cooper, Betty's middle-class but hard-working father who works as a druggist.
* Mrs. Alice Cooper, Betty's caring, highly supportive mother.
* Mr. Forsythe Pendleton Jones Jr, Jughead's father (referred to as Timothy Jones in one story), who looks just like his son, only older and balding.
* Mrs. Gladys Jones, Jughead's mother.
* Other parents of Archie characters.

Other Teens/Expanded Archie Gang (supporting)

* Marmaduke "Moose"/"Big Moose" Mason (earlier "Moose McGee"), a muscular star athlete who is a poor student and is possessive about his girlfriend. He also is known to be dyslexic [ [ Freshamn Year] , Archie Comics]
* Midge Klump, Moose's girlfriend. (earlier "Midge Collins")
* Dilton Donald "Dilly" Doiley, the very intelligent nerd and inventor.
* Ethel "Big Ethel" Muggs (earlier "Ethel Dinklehof"), a tall, stringy, somewhat dorky but goodhearted teenager who always tries to win over Jughead, albeit unsuccessfully.
* Charles "Chuck" Clayton, an African-American athlete and cartoonist.
* Nancy Woods, Chuck's girlfriend.
* Other teenagers in Archie Comics.

The Faculty

* Mr. Waldo Weatherbee, the school principal, popularly referred to as 'The Bee'. He is often a victim of Archie's clumsiness, and the latter frequently finds himself in detention.
* Miss Geraldine Grundy, a teacher at Riverdale High. Usually portrayed as an English teacher.
* Professor Benjamin Flutesnoot, science teacher (also band teacher in Little Archie).
* Coach Kleats, the head physical education teacher.
* Coach Floyd Clayton, [] Chuck's dad, also a physical education teacher.
* Miss Bernice Beazley, the somewhat grouchy school cafeteria cook.
* Mr. Svenson, Swedish school custodian.
* Other faculty members.

Other Characters

* Terry "Pop" Tate, (earlier Leo Tate)owner of the Chocklit Shoppe (in older comics, Pop's Malt Shop) where Archie and the gang frequently hang out.
* Jellybean, Jughead's little sister. Her real name is Forsythia.
* Hot Dog, Jughead's faithful pet dog.
* Minor characters in Archie Comics

"Archie" spin-off titles

* "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"
* "Josie and the Pussycats" (also published as "Josie" and "She's Josie")
* "That Wilkin Boy"
* "Cheryl Blossom"
* "Li'l Jinx"
* "Archie's Mad House" (also published as "Mad House Ma-ad" and "Mad House Glads")
* "Katy Keene"
* "Wilbur"
* "Suzie"
* "Ginger"


At various points, Archie Comics has experimented with publishing various superhero titles. Beginning with the companies "very first comic publication" - "Blue Ribbon Comics" #1 (Nov. 1939), and continuing throughout the 1940s with titles such as "Zip Comics", "Jackpot Comics", "Hangman Comics", "Shield-Wizard Comics" and "Pep Comics". [ Ask the Archivist - "Didn't you guys used to publish superhero characters?"] . Accessed July 1, 2008] This last title was, "before Archie came along in issue #22... home to the first ever patriotic superhero, The Shield."

During "Archie's Silver Age (late 1950s through the 1960s)," the Shield led other characters in the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby title "The Double Life of Private Strong", while Simon & Kirby soon added another title - "The Adventures of the Fly" - which in turn was later joined by "The Jaguar". "By the mid-'60s, the superheroes were back in full force" with "Mighty Comics Presents" and "The Mighty Crusaders" featuring "all of Archie's superhero characters teaming up for epic adventures." The Mighty Crusaders comprised: The Fly, The Shield, Jaguar, Steel Sterling, Captain Flag, The Comet, Fly Girl, Firefly and The Fox.

Many of these characters were later licenced to DC.cite web| url=|title=SDCC '08 JMS Talks DC's Brave & the Bold... and Archie??? |accessdate=2008-09-18 |publisher=Newsarama|date=2008-07-26]

Red Circle Comics

In October 1973, Archie's new "Red Circle Comics" imprint debuted with "Chilling Adventures in Sorcery" #3 (formerly "Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as told by Sabrina"), later morphing into "Red Circle Sorcery" with issue #6, running for a further six issues, until issue #11 (Feb, 1975). A small handful of other shortlived, non-Archie, titles were published by Red Circle Comics before - in 1978/79 - two digests were published collecting some of the Archie Superhero comics from the previous decade. These were "Archie's Super Hero Special" and "Archie's Super Hero Comic Digest Magazine" - the latter notable for printing a previously-unpublished revamp of the Black Hood by Gray Morrow and Neal Adams.

In the 1980s, Archie's superheros returned. Initially published by JC Comics in "JCP Features" #1, (Dec 1981), in March 1983, the first issue of "Mighty Crusaders" appeared, leading to a procession of new titles under the Red Circle Comics banner, soon to be rebranded (in February 1984) the "Archie Adventure Series," before cancellation in September, 1985.


Archie's super-heroes were later leased to DC Comics for use in its short-lived !mpact line, "and while many of their titles received critical acclaim, there were already too many superhero comics flooding the market."

Currently published titles

* "Archie" (Winter 1942— )
* "Archie and Friends" (Sept 1992— )
* "Archie Digest" (Aug 1973— )
* "Archie's Double Digest" (1981— )
* "Archie's Holiday Fun Digest" (1996— )
* "Archie's Pal Jughead" Vol. 2 (June 1993—, #46—)
* "Archie's Pals 'n' Gals Double Digest" (Nov 1992— )
* "Betty" (Sept 1992— )
* "Betty and Veronica" Vol. 2 (June 1987— )
* "Betty and Veronica Digest" (Nov 1980— )
* "Betty and Veronica Double Digest" (1987— )
* "Betty and Veronica Spectacular" (Oct 1992— )
* "Jughead and Friends Digest" (June 2005— )
* "Jughead's Double Digest" (Oct 1989— )
* "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" Vol. 2 (Jan 2000— )
* "Sonic the Hedgehog" (June 1993— )
* "Sonic X" (Sept. 2005— )
* "Tales from Riverdale Digest" (May 2005— )
* "Veronica" (Apr 1989— )

Defunct titles

* "Archie 3000!" (1989-91)
* "Archie Americana Series"
* "Archie Annual Comics Digest"
* "Archie Archie Andrews Where Are You? Digest" (1977-98)
* "Archie and Me" (1964-87)
* "Archie's Explorers of the Unknown!" (1990-91)
* "Archie at Riverdale High" (1972-87)
* "Archie's Giant Series Digest" (1954-92, revolving one-shot and recurring titles similar to Dell's Four-Color series; early issues had longer page counts, but by the 1980s this had ended)
* "Archie's Joke Book Digest" (1953-82)
* "Archie's Pals 'n Gals" (1952-91)
* "Archie's RC Racers" (1990-91)
* "Archie Story & Game Digest"
* "Archie's T.V. Laugh-Out" (1969-86)
* "Betty And Me" (1965-92)
* "Betty And Veronica Summer Fun" (1994-99)
* "Betty's Diary" (1986-90)
* "Cheryl Blossom" (1997-2001)
* "Everything's Archie" (1969-91)
* "Jackpot Comics" (1941)
* "Jughead's Pal Hot Dog" (1990-91)
* "Jughead with Archie Digest" (1974-2005)
* "Jughead's Diner" (1990-91)
* "Jughead's Jokes" (1968-82)
* "The Jughead Jones Digest Magazine" (1977-96)
* "Jughead's Time Police" (1990-91)
* "Knuckles the Echidna" (spin-off of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic series)
* "Laugh" (1946-87; V2 1987-91)
* "Laugh Digest" (1974-2005)
* "Life with Archie" (1958-91)
* "Pep" (1940-87)
* "Reggie and Me" (1966-80)
* "Reggie's (Wise Guy) Jokes" (1968-80)
* "Riverdale High" (1990-91)
* "World of Archie" (1992-98)


External links

* [ Archie comic strip]
* [ Big Comic Book DataBase: Archie]

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